"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Spotlight: Break the Story. Break the Silence. Break the Archbishop.



Break the man, John Nienstedt.

News that former Archbishop John Nienstedt showed up in a parish in Michigan and is working there - or helping out seems to have become public concern:
According to the January 10, 2016 bulletin of Saint Philip Roman Catholic Church in Battle Creek, Michigan, Archbishop Nienstedt has found a job serving as an assistant priest at the parish, which is located in the Diocese of Kalamazoo.

Per the Pastor's Column (see below, page two), Nienstedt will have an office at the parish center, but will be living at the neighboring Church of Saint Joseph. His duties will include covering masses in the absence of the pastor, visiting the sick and homebound, and assisting with 'various pastoral ministries'. - Canonical Consultation
The matter reemerged on last week's news regarding Nienstedt's move from the Archbishop's residence in St. Paul, Minnesota and reports of relocating to Battle Creek, Michigan.  I haven't followed anything about the archbishop since his resignation - evidently he is still being hounded by his enemies and those outraged over his lack of transparency and refusal to make public the findings of the so-called Greene Espel report.
It was in July of 2014 that Commonweal Magazine broke the story that Archbishop John Nienstedt had authorized an investigation into his own conduct as a result of complaints received from priests, former priests, and seminarians. That investigation was entrusted to, and then removed from, a team of attorneys from the Greene Espel law firm in Minneapolis. While the results of the investigation have never been made public, what is known is that at least one matter under investigation was the emeritus Archbishop's relationship with Curtis Wehmeyer, a former priest of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis currently serving prison sentence for sexually abusing minors. - CC
The Battle Creek Enquirer has more on the story here:
He is accused of making “unwanted sexual advances” toward seminarians, retaliating against one who rebuffed him, interfering with a church sexual misconduct investigation and concealing the crimes of predator priests.
But he’s good enough for western Michigan Catholics, at least in the view of Kalamazoo’s Catholic bishop.
[T]wo disturbing signals are sent by Nienstedt’s new position. Victims, witnesses, whistleblowers and betrayed Catholics are essentially being told “Your pain doesn’t matter. We’ll put any cleric anywhere we like.” And worse, Catholic employees are essentially being told, “No matter how much hurt you cause, if you’re a priest or bishop, you’ll always have a place on the Catholic church payroll.” - Enquirer

 I disagree that these are the messages sent by the exiled Nienstedt in his new position.  It's misplaced zeal and hyperbole intended to destroy a man.  I don't believe 'victims' could have that impression - what were the lawsuits about?  I can't help but believe this is what the 'disgruntled' say and want people to believe.  I'm convinced there is an underlying anticlecricalism motivating the hounding of Nienstedt.  I think it is somewhat similar to the Church Militant vendetta against Dolan in NYC.  I might be wrong, but I'm very suspicious of this ongoing pursuit against Nienstedt.

I can't imagine Nienstedt is a threat to any child, or young adult, especially if he is simply helping out covering masses in the absence of the pastor, visiting the sick and homebound, and assisting with 'various pastoral ministries'.  

Sadly, he seems to be on his own - no one to defend him.  It's vendetta and they are going for the kill.

h/t JE




10 comments:

  1. "Sadly, he seems to be on his own - no one to defend him."

    Just got back from a weeklong session of "Formation." The previous quotation pretty much summarizes our sessions. We are on our own as priests. We were apparently ordained for the purpose of being a legal firewall between the laity and the episcopacy. Terry, the center has not held. At least my brothers had a good time with each other. (The *mandatory* formation was held at a very prominent and upscale casino resort. Ugh! What to do?

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    1. We have a new pastor at my parish - 3 years a priest - he is absolutely the best priest we ever had - he is so solid, his homilies pull you in, his devotion enlivens the Mass - his faith infectious. I hope he refuses every opportunity for promotion - every offer to be a rector or spiritual director at the seminary or anywhere else, resist every promotion in the archdiocese, resist every award or accolade, resist every reassignment to a better parish. Resist every honor and every notice.

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  2. I'm answering my own question now. Christ has given us the episcopate as a gift to perpetuate His own apostolic order. I am thankful for the gift of the priesthood received at the hands of my bishop, a direct successor of the Twelve. I will show my gratefulness by loving and tending the flock Christ has given me the honor of pastoring. Much past focusing on them is thinking too much, and that's not good for folks like me. I'm so thankful that Jesus let me be His priest.

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    1. Amen, Fr. Frank! Be assured of my prayers.

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  3. I'm answering my own question now. Christ has given us the episcopate as a gift to perpetuate His own apostolic order. I am thankful for the gift of the priesthood received at the hands of my bishop, a direct successor of the Twelve. I will show my gratefulness by loving and tending the flock Christ has given me the honor of pastoring. Much past focusing on them is thinking too much, and that's not good for folks like me. I'm so thankful that Jesus let me be His priest.

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  4. My rosary today will be offered for priests. How much they are under attack. As Jesus said, if you strike the shepherd the flock will scatter and isn't that what we are seeing? I'm in mourning today: for a friend whose daughter died suddenly (mom of two), for several crises in my own family, and for the poor battered Bride of Christ. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

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    1. Bless you, Mary. Just offered a prayer for these intentions. Your sorrow is shared.

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    2. Bless you, Mary. Just offered a prayer for these intentions. Your sorrow is shared.

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  5. In the age of the Internet, is exile within society possible anymore? Where can a penitent go?

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    1. Song for this post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc6OBZm7OH8

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